Lifestyles of the palaeoproterozoic stromatolite builders in the Vempalle Sea, Cuddapah Basin, India

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Journal of Asian Earth Sciences


The distribution and changing pattern of stromatolites in the Vempalle Formation of the Cuddapah Basin, India, have been investigated with emphasis on external morphologies, internal fabrics, growth patterns and sediment associations. The stromatolitic limestone occurs in a low angle ramp type carbonate platform, with complete exposures from shallow shelf to basinal facies, provides record of changes in reef-building capacity of stromatolites with change in the depositional milieu. Changing pattern and style of the stromatolites clearly reflect depth partitioned growth of the microbial community. Small and scattered stromatolites, commonly with wavy parallel laminations or stratifications occurred in inner-ramp settings, where they are build up to the sea level. Tepee structure and desiccation cracks in associated sediments and salt pseudomorphs point to shallow water to occasional exposure condition. Large bioherms with columnar and conical stromatolites developed in the headland (mid ramp), which were in continuous interaction with strong waves of the open sea. Growth of the bioherms changed the landform with time and generated a high sloping edge with a sheer drop that extended out into the sea, forming distally steepened ramp. Outer ramp lithofacies characterized by thick layers of shale succession with thin beds of laterally persistent stromatolitic beds with low synoptic relief build-ups. These biotic components, along with the absence of wave-related structures, place the outer ramp below the base of wave action zone. Ooid banks developed in the mid ramp area are in the high surfing zone. High flux of nutrients and high-light show positive correlation; thus the high growth pattern is best observed within the photic zone where wave action is maximum. The ability to change from low synoptic relief algal laminites to high synoptic relief columnar stromatolites point to their adaptive power. The key factor that controlled the shape of these Palaeoproterozoic stromatolites is the dynamic interactions between mat growth, currents and sediment supply. Presence of concentric and radial fibrous ooids indicates change in climate and salinity of the sea.

First Page


Last Page




Publication Date


This document is currently not available here.